Electroconductive Ceramic Composites for Cutting Tools
The addition of titanium nitride (TiN) particles to a Si3N4 matrix reduces the intrinsic electric resistivity of this ceramic allowing it to be machined by EDM in cutting tools manufacturing. Gains can be expected given the cost reduction by the increase of productivity when shaping these hard to machine ceramic materials. Si3N4 ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s) with 0- 30vol.% of TiN sub-micrometric particles were produced by uniaxial hot pressing (HP) and pressureless sintering (PS). For the PS samples, EDM tests showed that machining of the composites is possible when they contain at least 23vol.% TiN particles what corresponds to a resistivity of 7.5cm. For HP samples at least 30vol.% of TiN is required to get an electroconductive material for EDM machining. This difference is due to the lower temperatures used in the HP process that delay the formation of a conductive network between the TiN particles.
Paula Maria Vilarinho
F. A. Almeida et al., "Electroconductive Ceramic Composites for Cutting Tools ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 514-516, pp. 638-642, 2006